With a huge wildfire in southern California filling the air with smoke, more than a dozen farm workers left the fields where they were picking strawberries last week and sought shelter indoors. The Springs Fire, as it has been named, was burning eleven miles north in Camarillo but the workers in the fields of Crisalida Farms in Oxnard could feel ashes falling on them saysNBC.
A foreman told the fifteen workers they would lose their jobs if they left, despite the worsening air quality and conditions. The workers sought shelter. When they returned on May 3, they were fired.
Though they were not members of the United Farm Workers, the workers contacted the union who met farm representatives and asserted a union rule that "No worker shall work under conditions where they feel his life or health is in danger."
Cridalida Farms representatives said in a statement to Latin TV network Telemundo that the workers had left without permission when orders needed to be filled and said it would pay the workers for the hours they had worked.
But who's thinking about strawberries when you can't breathe and the skies are filled with smoke?
Tell Crisalida Farms and other companies that workers must have safe working conditions and assurance that they will not lose their jobs when a crisis occurs.